By Suntou Touray (Bolonba)
‘The reasons and motivations for divorces are primarily material, not violence or mistreatment as projected to the western social services. Men in the Gambia should start asking in-laws whether they’re giving daughters in marriage as we know it or for hustle. Since the same parents place more emphasis on the daughter acting as their breadwinner rather than focus on her marriage’.
Domineering women in marital homes is nothing new. If the usual female sex appeal fails to control the husband’s masculinity, the witch doctor’s marabout incantations and liquid mix have become viable options. These are usually slowly contaminated in foods and drinks served to unsuspecting husbands. If that fails still to curb a man’s role as head of the house or become sub-servant to the wife, then divorce and the longing for independence become the woman’s soul desire. Tune in to www.kaironews.com radio today for my thought provoking analysis of the steps our sisters are taking to divorce men in droves.
As breadwinners, women have been negatively impacting on matrimony in U.S and Europe. In Europe, the social and state benefits for children are capitalised upon as ways to remit to parents and extended families in Africa, leaving the husband to foot the bills of the household expenses. Women insist on being in control of social benefits; they tend to misuse the state help in frivolous spending and denying their own children a comfortable upkeep.
Hence, the reasons and motivations for divorces are primarily material, not violence or mistreatment as projected to the western social services. Women who intend to break away from a man who brought them to Europe and America cleverly create an environment devoid of any semblance to the social and cultural background of their country of origin. The tense atmosphere that builds up cause negative energy there, forcing couple to live separate lives in a family home. After some time, there is bound to be bad temperament and a conflict. The primary aim for women is getting control of the children, and social income benefit that comes with it.
Men who snoop on their ex-wife’s cite hearing telephone conversations where mother-in-laws playing curial roles in ending a once happy marriage. The daughters insinuate that, without divorce they cannot cater for their extended family welfares adequately. The plot thickens with lying to European social service of having a violent husband and imploring on the European culture to seek for protection away from a man who picks her from obscurity to the affluence of Europe and America, casting him as a violent beast. These circle and narrative is continuing in many African homes in Europe. Poverty and greed the backdrop.
The rise in divorce among Gambian couples in the west in becoming a sad phenomenon. The first and most populous Gambian diasporan community in Europe is said to be France. The French Capital Paris has a significant proportion of Gambians, some in their retired age of sixty 66 to 70 years. Sadly, a considerable number of these men live in homes locally referred to as ‘fuwaye’ or in very tall old cement tower buildings named ‘batiman’.
These divorced old men are kicked out by their wife’s due to many factors. Top of them is the misunderstanding of the ‘freedom in the west’. Since the men who travelled to France in the 1960’s and 70’s are mostly uneducated in the western sense, their spouses too are uneducated likewise. Hence, the sudden improvement in status and independent earnings somehow compel some of these women to put an unflinching challenge to the husbands. “Allow me to do what I want or you move out”.
Traditions move with people wherever they go. These men attempt at first to appease, however, in many cases, it was all short lived. The women wanted a whole scale change, a change of man more to say.
They created such an environment, the men feel like pussycats in their own matrimonial homes. Slowly and sadly, they started camping among fellow men in such predicament, in the ‘Fuwayees’ single male houses, usually shared. The divorced or separated wife’s with new found freedom, journey to Gambian for younger men. However, the men too, aiming not to be undo, also travel to Gambia for younger brides. The circle continues. France set the bench marks for women to see divorce not as a taboo, but a route to freedom, doing all they want, and forming women groups, staking monthly contribution, ‘Tek’ handing that to one woman every month rotationally. They became financially independent, and formidable breadwinners to poor extended family back in the Gambia.
The causality happens to be love, the children and social cohesion. These social breakdowns are now the main cause of Gambian children into crimes and feeling worthless abroad. Where single motherhood is celebrated, young boys turn to gangs and bad friends for male role models.
Next we will look at divorce cases in Sweden, Norway, U.S and England.